Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie is awesome, so I made some. I used two recipes, the filling from Mary Berry and the pastry and Italian meringue from Michel Roux.
I decided I wanted to use an Italian meringue for two reasons. One, Mr P hates the texture of the traditional meringue and two, it seemed like more of a challenge. I also got to use my new stand alone mixer for the first time, which was nice.


20cm pastry case


397g can of condensed milk
3 large egg yolks 
Zest and juice of 3 lemons

Italian meringue:

3 medium egg whites
40ml water 
180g caster sugar

makes 300g meringue


Stand alone mixer ideally or electric whisk
Piping bag with which ever piping attachment you prefer.

So, first you need a pastry case and here is how I made mine, Pate Sucree. Once you have you pastry case cooled, make your filling.
Preheat your oven to gas 4/180°C for 10-15 minutes and then put all the ingredients into a bowl and give it a mix.

Pour the filling into the case and pop it in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The filing should appear firm.

Next job while that is cooling is the Italian meringue. First prepare everything because once you start, it all needs to come together fairly quickly.
Pour the water and sugar into a pan, and put your egg whites into the mixer bowl. Start your mixer on slow and let your egg whites whisk till they are stiff peaks.

While that is going put the sugar and water on a high heat. Give it a mix and then put your thermometer in. When it gets to 110 °C turn the heat down to low and wait for the temperature of the syrup to reach 121°C. When it does, take it off the heat and allow the bubbles to stop bubbling for 20 seconds. I found the sugar syrup process was quite quick so you may want to wait a couple of minutes for your egg whites to get a head start. You do not want to be waiting for the egg white to stiffen while your syrup is finished and cooling.

Now, carefully start pouring the syrup into the mixer while it is still on slow. The syrup cooks the egg white and it is important to pour the syrup slowly and steadily so you have a constant stream. Once you have finished pouring the syrup, which may take about 5 minutes, let the mixer carry on for another 15 minutes on slow. This will cool down the egg white and it should end up looking nice and glossy.

Next you need to put the meringue into a piping bag and start making the top of the pie look amazing, I decided to go with little blobs. When you have finished, get your blowtorch and give the tops of the meringue a toasted glaze. I rather enjoyed this bit.

The tart in itself was a great balance of sweet and zesty lemon. I thought the condensed milk plus meringue would be too sweet but, it really was not. Mr P actually liked my meringue which I am very pleased about as it now means I can use meringue in my cooking, without him pulling a face.